Karl M E C A Heidt

Survivor | 09 November 1896 | Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)

Karl M E C A  HeidtBorn in Austria. As general practitioner he specialized as Ear, Nose and Throat specialist and established a practice in Bandung. He did not register with the professional association for (Dutch) ENT specialists. The address clipping shown here is taken from the Bandung telephone directory of 1936.

Karl Heidt appears in the Nias group portrait. His name is often misspelled and confused with "Dr Heldt" who is also a Van Imhoff survivor and even shared the same life boat with Karl Heidt.

Karl Heidt is remembered as a public Nazi sympathizer and as a very helpful, empathic person. At times he even stands up for the Dutch captives to protect them against aggressive Indonesian guards and the invading Japanese army. Heidt is a member of the local Nazi party in Bandung and is seen wearing his Nazi medal during important public events on Nias.

With the deportation and internment of the Dutch people from Nias, the Japanese force doctor Heidt to stay behind as one of the few reliable medics around. However, his deepest wish is to start a medical practice again in Sumatra. His loneliness gets the better of him. In August 1942 he takes an overdose of sleeping pills. He dies on 3 September 1942 and is given a respectful burial. His headstone on Nias near GunungSitoli reads "Einsam aber unter Freunde gestorben" (Lonely but deceased among friends).

On 15 March 2015 (see timeline on this site) Ben Wirawan uses the information from Petite Histoire Indonesia by Rosihan Anwar to re-tell the Van Imhoff affair whereby he focuses on the role of survivor Karl Heidt.

The grandson of Dr Heidt (Thomas Heindl in Vienna) is preparing Karl Heidt's biography. This grandson also appears in the Dutch Van Imhoff documentary which was broadcasted in December 2017. In this documentary he is one of the main characters.


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